Many of you already know that I underwent Gastric Bypass surgery in May of 2003. I did have a surgical complication (I aspirated under anesthesia and ended up with a chemical pneumonia) but what happened to me could happen to anyone who is under general anesthesia. It was not linked to the type of procedure I was having so I usually don't even share that part of the story. In today's edition of the Modesto Bee, the cover story is about a woman who is dying of malnutrition as a direct result of the same procedure that I had. Click http://www.modbee.com/local/story/576733.html to view the story. I know that someone will want to discuss this story with me so I've chosen to address my opinion in this blog. I don't know the specifics of this woman's situation so I cannot comment on her. I can only talk about my experience. I pray for her health and the health of those in similar situations. Each case is different and unique.
The thing that frustrates me is that you only hear the bad news about Bariatric surgery. I know there are lots of horror stories out there but there are a lot of success stories as well. You don't hear about how patients no longer have to depend on their blood pressure medication or how they can stop using the insulin to control their diabetes. No one talks about their back and joint pain going away and their lower cholesterol levels. I've had extraordinary success. The average gastric bypass patient looses 50% of their excess body weight within a year of surgery. I lost 100% of my excess weight in 7 months. I have been able to maintain that loss (within 15-20 lbs.) for five years but all of this did come with a lifestyle change. I strictly followed the rules for the first year to ensure success on the advice of the health professionals I consulted. I knew the risks and the benefits long before I checked into the surgery center.
My doctor told me that he only operates on my stomach... not my brain. I never realized how much of an emotional eater I am until I had the surgery. I still have food issues, but I have never regretted the decision to have this surgery.